SHAFAQNA (Shia International News Association) –— www.shafaqna.com/English
SHAFAQNA (Shia International News Association) — One of the four Americans killed in Libya earlier this week when an American diplomatic mission was stormed on September 11 had been deployed by the US State Department on an intelligence gathering operation to find and destroy dangerous weapons.
Glen Doherty, a 42-year-old former Navy SEAL, told ABC News only one month before his death that he had been contracted by the State Department to travel overseas in an effort to locate and eliminate MANPADS shoulder-fired surface-to-air missiles. The US government had feared that as many as thousands of the high-powered warheads had fallen into the hands of both rebels and regime fighters after former leader Muammar Gaddafi was executed earlier this year amid months of chaos in region.
In Libya, Doherty said, he had been contracted to travel through the region and search for MANPADs, then destroy them by bashing them with a hammer or running them over in his vehicle, ABC reports. He detailed his mission with the network in August while still located in the United States.
Doherty was killed along with three others, including US ambassador Christopher Stevens, on the anniversary of the terrorist attacks that destroyed the World Trade Center in New York eleven years earlier.
“I never thought he’d be another victim of 9/11,” his sister Katie Quigley tells The Boston Globe. At the time of his death, Quigley adds she believes her brother "was protecting the ambassador and also helping the wounded.”
The State Department did not offer any comment in regards to Doherty’s involvement in efforts to dismantle the MANPADS, but directed the media to an earlier statement from State Assistant Secretary for Political-Military Affairs Andrew Shapiro that read the US was looking at "every possible tool to mitigate the threat."
"He died serving with men he respected, protecting the freedoms we enjoy as Americans and doing something he loved," former SEAL and friend Brandon Webb tells NBC.
In the three days since Doherty’s death, mobs have swarmed diplomatic establishments held by the US overseas, including facilities in Egypt, Tunisia and Yemen. American authorities are investigating a man thought to be responsible for the film "Innocence of Muslims,” an American-made movie deemed disrespectful to Islam and considered the catalyst in the rash of attacks.—www.shafaqna.com/English
SHAFAQNA (Shia International News Association) — The ongoing civil war in Syria continues to set all the wrong kinds of records as last month proved to be the deadliest so far in the 17-month old revolt. Activists say that more than 5,000 people were killed during the month of August, more than three times the monthly average since the conflict began last year. The United Nations says 1,600 people were killed in the last week alone. That would put the total number of Syrian deaths since the spring of 2011 at somewhere between 23,000 and 26,000.
The Red Cross/Crescent also says that more than 100,000 refugees have left the country just in the last month, another monthly record, and nearly half of the total number of those who have fled thoughout the entire conflict. Many have even begun to reach Europe where they are applying for asylum. The ICRC met with president Bashar al-Assad on Tuesday to discuss humanitarian operations, but that seems unlikely to change matters on the ground. Medics and other humanitarian groups have not been granted safe passage into the war zones, nor have civilians been given a chance to evacuate battleground neighborhoods without becoming targets.
Despite the deepening crisis there is still no movement among foreign nations to stage an intervention in the conflict. As long as Russia, China, and Iran continue to block proceedings at the United Nations and support Assad on the ground, the political will just doesn't exist for an outside army to try and put a stop to the fighting. Western governments keep asserting that Assad's downfall is only a matter of time, but until that time comes he will continue to lay waste to the entire country.—www.shafaqna.com/English
SHAFAQNA (Shia International News Association) — Thunder clapped and rain fell just before Bionce, Sassy and the rest of Mark Argall's prize-winning dairy herd went up for auction.
Had the storm come a few weeks earlier, and if the drought had eased, it might have saved the cows -- some of which were named with a bit of poetic license ("You can spell names however you want," he said) for pop-culture divas and celebrities.
As it was, however, Argall's pasture was so dry that his cattle had nothing to eat, and the farmer was losing $75 a day just trying to feed them.
Five generations of his family have milked dairy cows in this secluded stretch of Missouri's Ozark Mountains, but the inch or so of rain that fell on this recent Thursday was too little, too late. Argall -- a 54-year-old with a wiry, broomstick mustache -- had no choice but to sell nearly all of his cows at a livestock auction.
"We were just trying to hold on, thinking things are gonna change, the grass is gonna grow, the hay is going to be there," he said. "And it just never did happen."
During the auction, he sent a friend outside to roll up the windows of his truck. He never would have thought he'd need to close them because of rain -- at least not now.
Triple-digit temperatures and sparse rain this summer produced one of the most severe and widespread U.S. droughts in a half-century. Most headlines have focused on the extent of the drought -- the fact that it enveloped more than half the country; or that temperatures in July were the hottest for any month on record in the continental United States. Somewhat lost in that national conversation are the stories of Argall and other small-scale farmers who are being pushed out of the only line of work they've ever known.
For them -- and for the rural communities that depend on their incomes -- the drought is far more than a news item. It's an earth-shattering event, one they worry could lead the dairy communities of southern Missouri to unravel.
And, perhaps saddest of all, farmers say the sell-offs could have been avoided.
"We didn't fail. We did everything right," said Argall's wife, Jeanette. "It was the system that failed us."
Other farmers fear they'll end up in the same spot as the Argalls.
They pray for rain and try to stay afloat financially.
But that limbo exacts a serious toll.
Stacey McCallister, a good-humored 44-year-old who raises dairy cows about 50 miles north of Argall, wakes up many mornings and vomits. The drought has shot his nerves. He doesn't know what to tell his 11-year-old son when, in tears, he asks his dad if they'll have to sell all their animals. And he didn't know quite what to do when six of his dairy cows keeled over, two of them fatally, on a recent morning because they'd eaten a particular kind of grass that was so dry it had become toxic.
"I'd love for my kids to be able to stay on a farm and make a living," he said. "But I'm gonna tell you: Unless things change, there's no way."
The "unless things change" part is key for McCallister. He is both praying for rain -- his church, First Christian in Mountain Grove, held an event just for that purpose -- and pressuring the government for policy changes that could help small dairy farmers.
This sort of jump into the political fray is unusual in this area, where people pride themselves on a self-sufficient, can-do attitude. The drought hasn't changed that, but it's made dairy farmers here feel that some cards are stacked against them.
They're in the rare position of needing to ask for help.
And they're not necessarily getting it.
The Obama administration earlier this month announced emergency drought assistance that included low-interest emergency loans; a federal buy-up of meat from livestock producers; and the opening up of some protected lands for livestock grazing.
None of those efforts are targeted at dairy farmers, however, dairy advocates say.
Missouri's governor, meanwhile, created a cost-share program to help farmers get access to water for their cattle, but McCallister said that's more of a Band-Aid than a real solution.
Michael Scuse, under secretary of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, said dairy farmers have not been offered enough of a safety net because Congress has not finalized an omnibus piece of legislation called the Farm Bill.
"Had we had a Farm Bill passed by now, there's a very good chance we could offer some additional assistance" to dairy farmers who are struggling because of the drought, he said.
Several programs that deal with emergency assistance for livestock owners expired in September 2011; and an insurance program for livestock producers, which he said "never had adequate funding," will be cut further in September and eliminated by October 1 unless new legislation is passed, he said.
Earlier this summer, the U.S. Senate and the House's agriculture committee passed versions of the five-year bill, which includes everything from food stamps to crop insurance. Much of the debate about the bill centers on programs to feed low-income people. The House returns from August recess on September 10, and could take up the measure then.
The bill in its current form would create an insurance program specifically for dairy farmers. Currently, most dairy farmers are uninsured, according to officials and policy experts; that makes them more vulnerable to the impacts of a drought or high feed prices, both of which have taken hold now.
The price of corn nationally more than doubled from July 2010 to 2012, to $7.36 per bushel, and hay prices have risen nearly 65% over the same period to $184 per ton, according to the National Agricultural Statistics Service. On the ground in Missouri, however, real prices can be twice that for hay and at least a $1 per bushel more for corn, since those materials have to be trucked in from wetter regions, said Larry Purdom, president of the Missouri Dairy Association.
And, some dairy farmers here want to see the federal government suspend a rule requiring one-third of the U.S. corn crop be converted to ethanol. There's some evidence, as Reuters reports, however, that removing the requirement would do little to help.
McCallister relayed some of these concerns to his congresswoman, U.S. Rep. Jo Ann Emerson, when she visited the area this month. Emerson has tried and, so far, failed to push through emergency drought legislation that would aid dairy farmers. The Republican took to the House floor with a photo of McCallister's dried-up farm to make her point.
On a recent morning, she met about a dozen dairy farmers beneath a shade tree at an agriculture research station in Mountain Grove.
She sure got an earful.
"We need to be able to buy feed for our cattle to meet this winter's needs or there's gonna be people standin' here that's not gonna be standin' here next time," McCallister said.
"You made a penny off your last sale, didn't you?" the congresswoman prompted.
McCallister: "Feed price was $15.50 and milk price was $15.51. I probably lost $5,000 last month. That's where we're at. The more cows you milk, the more money you lose."
She vowed to follow up on the issues.
'They become your family'
It took only 30 minutes for an auctioneer to sell Mark Argall's 33 cows.
As rain pattered on the metal roof of the auction barn, they were showcased one by one behind a metal fence and in front of a 100-person crowd. Bright lights hung over the scene. An announcer offered motorboat-speed commentary, jabbering about weight and price and quality of their coats. Two men with long metal sticks smacked a wall of the cage and poked the cattle to try to keep them spinning like ballerinas for the buyers, who selected cattle by making almost imperceptible motions -- a wink, the tap of a finger.
All of it was, of course, difficult for Argall to watch. He chewed on the tip of a pen and sighed as Bionce, Cupcake, Maggie Mae ("You ever hear of Rod Stewart?" he said) and the rest earned less than half what they would have before this drought.
"They're not just numbers on a computer," he said. "They're members of the family."
His wife, Jeanette Argall, took it harder. She fled to her sister's house in Arizona that week so she wouldn't have to be around for the sale.
Jeanette Argall grew up near Kansas City, and when her husband brought her to his parents' farm near Stockton, "she didn't know which end of the cow the milk came out of," he said. But she took to dairy farming with unexpected gusto, naming each member of the Argall family herd with great care and decorating their kitchen with literally hundreds of cow-themed knick-knacks. There's a cow-shaped kettle on her stove; dozens of plaques for their achievements in "cow shows" cover the wall.
"I love cows. I love dairy farming. We eat, we breathe, we sleep dairy cows," she said. "It's a passion. It's a way of life. When you work so closely with these animals they become your family."
To a city dweller, that may sound far-fetched. But think about it this way: The Argalls witnessed the births of most of their cows; they fed them with cartoonish, oversized baby bottles when they were young; they talk to them; they know their personalities; they pat the necks of the nervous cows as they walk into a milk barn where vacuum-suctioned devices are stuck onto their udders to extract milk with mechanical, rhythmic efficiency.
The night before the auction, Meredith Argall, Mark and Jeanette's 33-year-old daughter, went out into the fields near Ava, Missouri, to say goodbye to her friends.
Among them was one of her favorites, Norman -- named after the main character in "Psycho." Norman was moody and a bit insane, but she trusted Meredith Argall.
"I told her she had to go somewhere else," she said. "Whether God was going to take her or whether she was going to a new home, (I told her) that we couldn't take care of her anymore."
This is the kind of family where a husband would give his wife bull semen for her birthday, just because she is so keen on developing the best herd possible -- to help their business grow, and to show the rest of the world how strong their herd was.
"She wanted him bad, bad, bad, so I surprised her with it," Mark Argall said of the bull, Black Star, whose genetics he bought for his wife's birthday more than a decade ago.
As one rainless day after another passed, the Argalls fought the idea of having to sell their cattle. But one day, Jeanette Argall said, a check for their milk came in the mail. The price had dropped. Their pastures were too dry to feed their cattle and, without getting more money for the milk, they weren't able to buy them enough to eat.
"I just couldn't take it," Jeanette Argall said, explaining why she left for Arizona before the day of the auction. "I couldn't stand watching people coming in and out of here with trucks and loading up my family."
Community on the brink
An hour or so up the road, cow food is about the only thing Green Acres Dairy is trucking in.
"About three weeks ago, I was about ready to change the name to Brown Acres."
That's Roy Oliphant, 30, who owns this farm with his wife, Jessica, who is so in love with the cattle they raise that her Facebook photo is a picture of Precious the cow.
The young couple went $400,000 in debt to buy the farm a little more than a year ago. They recently applied for a $20,000 loan, they said, to pay for some of the hay they need to help the herd survive the winter.
They hoped to be the next generation of farmers for the area.
Now they're "fighting to keep the place," said Jessica Oliphant.
"It's just not working," the 27-year-old said. "It's not going to be very long before we don't have any farmers around here."
Mountain Grove, the 4,800-person dairy town that links all the farmers in this region, is starting to feel the pinch of the drought as well. It's a relatively nondescript place, where white houses have porch swings and wind chimes hang from gutters. At the town square, Western-style brick buildings with wooden awnings surround a patch of walnut and oak trees. And one business, Brown's Hardware, has an ominous sign in the window:
"Going out of business"
"We rely on the farmers," said Joe Robertson, 76, who has worked there for more than two decades. "It's dry and hot. (The farmers) couldn't get out to do anything."
It could be just the first sign of trouble.
"There's a huge ripple effect" from the drought, said Emerson, the congresswoman. "If a farmer is making a profit -- not a big one, but a little one, even -- then they're going to go to the grocery store. They're going to go to the implement dealer. They're going to go to the beauty shop. They're going to go to the Hallmark store. They're going to utilize the services that are in those communities. And if our farmers aren't buying anything, then the implement dealers suffer. The hardware store suffers. Everybody suffers.
"And that's how you start having rural America wither away."
Mountain Grove's mayor, Delbert Crewse, says the concerns are overblown.
Town sales tax revenue is down more than 10% compared to a year ago, he said. But revenue is always variable, he said. "It will hurt the city," he said, "but it's not gonna be no closin' of the city or anything like that."
As more and more dairy farmers here sell their herds, however, others believe the drought could be the event to push an already struggling area and industry over the edge.
The day the Argall family sold off 33 of their cattle at the Norwood Producers Auction, about 10 miles west of Mountain Grove, four other farmers did the same. This year, 30 farmers have done so at that particular auction barn, according to its owner, Brian Hoover. All told, more than a third of Missouri's dairy cows will be gone by the end of the year, thanks largely to the drought, said Purdom, from the dairy association.
"It gets worse every day," he said.
The return home
After the cows went to auction on August 16, Jeanette Argall called her husband and asked him to drive to Arizona to pick her up. She'd made a mistake, she said. She shouldn't be away from the family farm during such difficult times.
So Mark Argall drove three days, round trip, to bring her home.
They arrived on Tuesday at about 2 a.m.
"I just sat in the truck and I just bawled."
Before the drought, the family had about 100 cows. Dozens were sold off bit by bit before the auction. Fortunately for the cows, while some of those auctioned off at Norwood did go to slaughter, many went to other dairy farms.
The family decided to hang on to only five of their prize cows. They'll drink the milk, make some dairy products, and give some of it away to their neighbors.
But they're out of the business.
"I got up this morning and looked out and the farm looks bare without the cows," Jeanette Argall said. "You just sit here and you just shake your head and you're like, 'Now what?'"
They trust God has a plan for the family.
They just don't know what it is.
"I'm going to have to figure out what I'm gonna be when I grow up," Mark Argall said.
He's thinking of moving the family -- with the five remaining cows, Gypsy, Olivia, Jezabel, Brandy and Annalese -- to Alaska so he can work on an oil pipeline. He'd never been west of Kansas before he drove to Arizona to get his wife. But at least, in Alaska, he knows there would be work. Or maybe he'll get a truck driver's license. Or maybe they'll sell cheese at a local market. Who knows?
None of that is what he really wants, though.
"I never wanted to do anything but milk cows."
Just like his great-grandfather, grandfather, father and children have.
"It's just a helpless, godawful feeling," he said.
The night of the auction, Mark Argall came home to milk the few cows left on his farm -- his five and a handful he'd already sold but was waiting to deliver.
He and his daughter, Meredith, walked through the dark and rain to their dairy barn. As the cows filed in, father and daughter petted them and offered comfort during the storm.
Just as they were finishing up, at about 8:30 p.m., the power cut off and the room went black.
"You've got to be kidding me," Mark Argall said.
It was the weather.
After some fumbling around, Mark and Meredith Argall let the cows back out into the pasture and made their way through the rain and back into their home.
Mark Argall bit a flashlight in his mouth and lit three candles.
"You're not going to find a dairyman that isn't an optimist by nature," he said, trying to stay upbeat. "It's just a prerequisite, I guess."
Minutes later, the lights popped back on.—www.shafaqna.com/English
SHAFAQNA (Shia International News Association) — The US Air Force confirmed on Wednesday that the test mission one day earlier of an unmanned hypersonic plane hoped to travel at six times the speed of sound was a failure.
The Pentagon revealed on Wednesday that Tuesday’s test run of the X-51A WaveRider aircraft was unsuccessful.
"It is unfortunate that a problem with this subsystem caused a termination before we could light the scramjet engine," Charlie Brink of the Air Force Research Laboratory at the Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Ohio, says in a statement.
The WaveRider was only scheduled to soar for around five minutes, and the military did not release any official comment on the status of the exercise until a full day later, only then finally acknowledging the failure.
Earlier in the day, Wired’s Danger Room reported that the WaveRider “failed its flight test” and suggested that “a fin problem caused a loss of control [before] the engine could kick in,” but did not cite where that information came from. According to a report also filed on Wednesday by AviationWeek.com, sources speaking with that outlet suggested that the test mission “was not a success.”
AviationWeek reports that they believe that a malfunction with the craft’s Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne SJX61 dual-mode ramjet/scramjet engine was not to blame. After being brought to an altitude of 50,000 feet with the assistance of a B-52 bomber, the scramjet engine is the fundamental component involved in boosting the craft to a speed that could coast it over the Atlantic Ocean in under an hour.
The Pentagon had hoped that the X-51A would be able to sustain around five minutes in the sky at a speed of Mach 6, or roughly 4,300 miles per hour. No craft of its type has come close to achieving that goal in the past, though. A WaveRider tested in June 2011 was only able to sustain a speed of Mach 5, and for only half of the time.
Once the WaveRider or a similar hypersonic craft has successfully completed testing, it could be used by the Air Force to send servicemen, supplies or even missiles to any part of the planet within moments.—www.shafaqna.com/english
SHAFAQNA (Shia International News Association) — Once Imam Ali (a.s.) had asked the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.w.); "What is the best deed in the Holy month of Ramadhan?" The Holy Prophet (s.a.w.w.) answered: "The best deed during the month of Ramadhan is to keep away from evil deeds, which Allah has forbidden”.
After that he burst into tears. Imam Ali (a.s.) was quite shocked and asked him why: The holy prophet (s.a.w.w.) explained: "I am crying because I can see a terrible scene that will happen to you in this holy month. While in sajdah (prostration), the most criminal of criminals, will hit you on your head and your beard will be dyed red with your blood.”
The Imam (as) asked: "Shall I be on the right path?" The Holy Prophet (s.a.w.w.) answered; "Yes!"
It was nineteenth of Ramadhan when Imam Ali (a.s.), in the darkness of dawn, was leaving for Fajr prayers at Masjid-e-Kufa, the pet ducks made a lot of noise. They cackled loudly and got hold of his abaa (dress). The Holy Imam understood that they were crying for him as he was nearing death.
Reaching in the mosque, he recited the adhan (call to prayers). This was to wake up all those who were asleep and among them was Ibn Muljam who was hiding the poisonous sword while sleeping on his stomach.
As the Imam was leading the prayers, while in the 2nd sajdah, the killer got up and quickly removed the poisonous sword hitting the Imam on his head with a big blow and the Imam (a.s.) said in a loud voice: "I swear by the Lord of Ka'bah, I have been successful". Gabriel shouted from the heavens: wallahi Tahaddamat Arkaanil Hodaa”. —www.shafaqna.com/englis
Source: Jafariya News
SHAFAQNA (Shia International News Association) — Some people accuse the Shia of having a different Quran or of believing that some of the verses of the Quran that is available today are different than the Quran at the time of the Prophet (S). This is a very dangerous accusation because it affects the validity of any argument or belief which relies on the Quran as a source of evidence. As we will show in this article, the school of AhlulBayt (A) believes that the Quran today is the same one that was revealed to the Prophet (S) and there are no words or verses added to it or missing from it.
What Types of Changes are in Question
Before we tackle the question of whether the Quran has been changed we need to figure out what are the type of changes that are in question and what the Muslims have said about each one. The scholars have listed 6 types of changes to the Quran as follows:
Alteration of the Meaning: "Some of the Jews distort (yuharrifuna) words from their meaning” (4.46). This verse speaks of a type of alteration which happens at the stage of interpretation in order to give a different meaning than intended. This type of alteration happens with the Quran by the agreement of all Muslims. Every time someone who does not have the knowledge and expertise to interpret the Quran and give the meaning of a verse, they are altering the Quran in a way because they are giving a different meaning.
Addition or Omission of Letters or Accent Marks: This type is also present in the Quran by the agreement of all Muslims. Because of it we have the different readings of the Quran and those readings have differences in accent marks and the way some words are read. However, the overall integrity and body of the Quran including verses and chapters is protected.
Addition or Omission of a Few Words: There were different copies of the Quran in the early days of Islam which had differences in some words, however, the main Quran which the people were using at the time of the Prophet (S) was among the people as well. Othman ordered for all the other versions to be burned and so we are left with the copy that was the main one used at the time of the Prophet (S).
Alteration via Addition or Omission of the Verses in the Chapters While Agreeing It is From the Quran: This goes to the conflict of the Basmalah “Bismi Allahi Alrahmani Alraheem” and whether it's a part of every surah (as most Shia scholars believe) or it is not a part of each surah and only put there for blessing.
Alteration via the Addition of Entire Verses or Chapters: It is agreed upon by all Muslims that this never happened. In fact the Quran itself challenges those who are non-believers to come up with a single verse or chapter like the Quran and they could not.
Alteration via Omission: The Quran we have today is not complete: This type of alteration means that some of the verses or other parts of the Quran which Allah (SWT) revealed did not make it to us today and were lost. This is the type which we will focus on because it is the source of some conflict. Any time that refer to alteration in this article we mean this type of alteration.
The Opinions of the Muslims Regarding Alteration of the Quran
The majority of Muslim scholars (Shia and Sunni) believe that the Quran has not been altered and that the Quran that we have today is a complete copy of the one that was revealed to the Prophet (S) and read by him. To show that this opinion is the one taken by Shia scholars we list a few of the most famous Shia narrators and scholars over the years:
The Master of Narrators Shaikh Alsadooq (Died in 991 AD:( In his book of I'tiqadat he states that the Quran which the Shia believe in is the one used by the people and what is between the covers and nothing more. (I'tiqadat, 93).
Alshaikh Almofeed (Died in 1022:( Asserts the same in his book. (Awa'il Almaqalat, 55)
Alshareef Almortadha (Died 1044:( States that anyone who says the Quran that we have is missing parts is not to be listened to and they do not represent the Shia belief. (Majma' Albayan, 1:83).
The Leader of the Shia Shaikh Altoosi (Died 1067:( In his book interpreting the Quran he states that it is beneath the level of the Quran to talk about it being added to or subtracted from. He also states that even though we have numerous Hadeeths from both Sunni and Shia sources which may suggest alteration those Hadeeths are either weak and not to be taken seriously, or they mean a different type of alteration than the one at hand. (Tibyan, 3:1)
Shaikh Altabarsi (Died 1163:( In his book interpreting the Quran he states that the belief of the Shia is that the Quran is not altered. (Majma' Albayan, 1:83)
Shaikh Kashif Alghita' (Died 1813:( He states the same belief and adds that if there was a portion of the Quran missing, we would have had many Hadeeths which are consistent on the topic. (Kashf Alghita', 229).
Sayyid Mohammad Altabataba'i (Died 1826:( States that the Quran is mutawatar (certain) as a whole and in its parts. In order for anything doubting the Quran to be taken seriously, it would have to have the same level of authenticity according to both Shia and Sunni schools. No one has ever made such a claim, therefore the Quran is complete. (Alburhan By Albrojardi, 120)
Shaikh Mohammad Jawad Albalaghi (Died 1933:( Discredits the Hadeeths attacking the completeness of the Quran. (Ala' Alrahman, 1:18)
Sayyid Abdulhussain Sharafaldeen (Died 1957:( States that believing in the non-alteration of the Quran and the evidence of its verses is a necessary belief of the Shia school of thought. (Ajwibat As'ilat Jar Allah, 28-37)
Sayyid Roohuallah Alkhomaini (Died 1989:( He says that the level of care the Muslims and the Prophet (S) gave the Quran and its collection assures us of the completeness of the Quran. He also states that the Hadeeths going against that are either weak, made up or are describing a different type of alteration.
Sayyid Abulqassim Alkhoei (Died 1993:( He states that the idea of the Quran being altered (as in incomplete) is a myth and only believed by those who are weak in their knowledge or who have not studied the matter closely. (Tafseer Albayn, 259)
Proving That the Quran Has Not Been Altered
As we have shown the idea of the Quran being altered is dismissed by Shia scholars. However, for further support we will mention a few of the ways which they use to prove that it was not.
First Proof: Rational Proof
The proof relies on the following premises:
It is established through reason and agreed upon all Abrahamic Religions that Prophethood is necessary for establishing Justice on earth and guiding the people to God.
Any prophethood is not believed by the people unless there is a miracle supporting the claim of connection with God.
The prophethood of our Prophet (S) is the last prophethood and it is for all time. It must have a miracle that accompanies it for the rest of time as well.
In his infinite wisdom, Allah (SWT) has chosen to end the line of Prophets with our Prophet (S). Thus, He made his prophethood worldwide and for all time. He also accompanied it and supported with a lasting miracle which is the Quran. It is not plausible that Allah (SWT) would allow anyone to alter the Quran and deprive the people of the miracle which guides them to the true path and the prophethood of Mohammad (S).
If you say that other Holy Books were altered: then we say that those books were related to messages which were limited in both scope and time. Each of the previous prophets had a time for his message. The only truly unlimited message is that which is the message of Islam, therefore, its miracle must be timeless as well.
If you say that even though the Quran is missing pieces, it is still miraculous: we say that the Quran itself says: “So do they not ponder about the Qur'an? And had it been from anyone besides Allah, they would certainly find much contradiction in it” (Nisa, 82), this is an invitation from the Quran to find inconsistencies in it. If parts of the Quran are missing, then maybe those parts are inconsistent. How can Allah (SWT) invite us to find contradictions in the Quran then not give us the chance to examine it all.
Given all these points, it should be clear that the Quran is protected from alterations and is complete in the form that we have today.
Second Proof: Verses of the Quran
“Verily, those who disbelieved in the Reminder when it came to them. And verily, it is an honorable well-fortified respected Book. ,41:42 Falsehood cannot come to it from before it or behind it, (it is) sent down by the All-Wise, Worthy of all praise. “ (Sajdah, 42-44) :These verses describe the Quran as “Azees” and having a sort of invincibility against falsehood and against alteration.
“Indeed We have sent down the Qur’an, and indeed We Ourselves surely are its Guardians” (Hijr, 9:( This is a promise from Allah (SWT) to protect the Quran.
Objection and Answer:
How can you rely on the Quran to prove that the Quran is not altered? I can write a document and say it is not altered then come back later and alter it.The Quran has described itself in different ways as listed above. Some of them are verifiable such as there being no inconsistencies within it and the challenge to the people to bring anything like it (Isra, 88). If these descriptions which are verifiable turns out to be true, then the Quran is a miracle. If the Quran is a miracle then the one who said it is not Human. If Allah (SWT) said the Quran then whatever he says is true including his promise to protect it.
Other Proofs: There are other proofs such as more verses of the Quran as well as many Hadeeths from both sides. However, this should be sufficient to establish the point.
Hadeeths Claiming Alterations
There are many Hadeeths in Sunni and Shia books which talk about the Quran being altered. However, our scholars break these Hadeeths down to four groups:
Ones which have a weak chain of narration and their authenticity is questioned or rejected.
Ones which have a good chain of narration but only narrated once. Those are not enough to establish any sort of belief. In discussions regarding beliefs, a Hadeeth must have a higher level of authenticity.
Ones which are clearly talking about a different type of alterations. An example of this is what is narrated from Imam Alkhadhem (A:( “They were trusted with the book of Allah (S) and they changed it and altered it” (Alkafi, 8:125) as well as the speech of Imam Hussain (A) on the day of Ashoora describing his enemies as “the changers of the book” (Bihar Alanwar, 8:45). These Hadeeths are talking about the first type of alteration listed above which is changing the meanings of it. The Imams are saying that the people went away from the true meaning of the book, not that they changed the words of it or omitted parts of it.
Ones which are describing the meaning of the verse, not actual missing words of the verse: We have Hadeeths which talk about the Imam adding a word or a companion adding a word to a verse or the names of AhlulBayt being added. Also the Hadeeths which discuss that Imam Ali had his own version of the Quran which had more than the rest of the people. These additions are meant to be only interpretations and meanings of the original text of the Quran, and not part of it. We give a couple of examples of this:
Narrated from Imam Alsadiq (A:( the Imam read the verse in this way “and whoever obeys Allah and His Messenger – in the authority (wilayah) of Ali and the rest of the Imams -, he indeed achieves a mighty success.” The Imam added “That is how it came down.” (Alkafi, 1:417)
Narrated from Imam Albaqir (A) that he said: “Gabreal brought down the verse to the Prophet like this: “And if ye are in doubt concerning that which We reveal unto Our slave (Muhammad) – about Ali -, then produce a surah of the like” (Baqarah, 23)
The same person in the first Hadeeth asked Imam Alsadiq (A) about the verse “ O you who have believed, obey Allah and obey the Messenger and those in authority among you. “ (Nisa, 59). The Imam said “It came down about Ali, Hassan and Hussain” So the person asked: “the people ask us: why did he not mention Ali and his Ahlulbayt by name?” The Imam said: “Tell them prayer was ordered in the book and it was not specified to be 3 or 4 rak'a. They needed the Prophet to clarify it for them”.
It is clear from the third Hadeeth that when the Imam is talking about the “coming down” of the verse he means the meaning that was coming down not the actual wording. Any Hadeeth which does not fall under the catagories above would directly contradicting the Quran. Any Hadeeth which contradicts the Quran is thrown away.
It is also important to note that Hadeeths claiming alteration or incompleteness of the Quran are present in Sunni books as well. However, Sunni scholars have dismissed them and they believe that the Quran today is complete. Examples of these narrations are:
From Aisha, she said "The Chapter of Ahzab was 200 verses at the time of the Prophet (S) but we were only able to keep what we have today" (Aldur Almanthoor 6:560)
From Omar Ibn Alkhattab "The chapter of Ahzab was close to the length of the chapter of Baqara or even longer". (Almustadrak 4:359)
From Omar "The Quran was 10027000 letters" but today's Quran is not even a third of that. (Itqad, 1:242)
Several other narration which talk about specific verses being included in the original Quran but now missing.
The major Shia Scholars throughout the years have stated that the belief of the Shia is that the Quran as it is today is not altered and is complete. They have given many proofs for that and we mentioned some of them. They also have responded to all the objections which have been put forth questioning the authenticity of the Quran or claiming alterations within it.—www.shafaqna.com/english
Source: Shia Answers